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Black money exists at home too, must be unearthed: FM

As government makes effort to bring illicit money stashed abroad, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday asked the I-T Department 

to focus its effort on unearthing 'quite large' black money within the country as well. ‘The government is making full efforts to bring back the black money stashed abroad, but the officers of the (Income Tax) department have to make equally serious efforts to unearth black money within the country,’ he said in a statement.

He asked ‘all senior officers to focus their efforts to unearth black money within the country which is also quite large’. The government has set up a special investigation team (SIT) to unearth black money stashed abroad.

The Finance Minister also hoped that revenue targets fixed for direct taxes in the current fiscal would not only be achieved but would be surpassed as well. The direct tax collections for the current fiscal has been pegged at Rs 7,36,221 crore. ‘In order to achieve this target, the officers of Income Tax Department will have to work with the highest standard of ethics... credibility of the department is its biggest asset,’ he said.

He emphasised that officers are duty-bound to work in a non-adversarial, non-intrusive, transparent and fair manner, yet they have to deal firmly with those trying to evade taxes. ‘The job of the officers of the I-T department is very difficult in the sense that on the one hand they have to achieve the tax collection targets and on the other hand to play the role of tax facilitator for the assesse,’ he said, while addressing the 30th annual conference of Principal Chief Commissioners, Principal Directors General (DGs), Chief Commissioners & DGs of I-T Department here.

‘Credibility of income tax department is its greatest asset, that’s why highest standards of ethics are expected from officers of the department,’ PIB said in a tweet. The government estimates to garner Rs 13.64 lakh crore from both direct and indirect tax collection during the current fiscal.

During 2013-14, tax collection fell short of target by a whopping Rs 77,000 crore. The government collected Rs 11.58 lakh crore against the budget estimate of Rs 12.35 lakh crore. There are doubts about the meeting of indirect tax collection target for the current fiscal as there is slowdown in the economy. On income tax front, however, there is possibility of surpassing target.

Last week, Revenue Secretary Shaktikanta Das had said that the government would be able to achieve the direct tax collection target but the real challenge is with regards to indirect taxes.
‘It is a challenge, there is no doubt about that, but with a number of steps taken by the government to revive the economy, particularly manufacturing, reviving investment sentiment... we expect manufacturing sector, the entire industrial sector to get back in buoyant note than previous 
year,’ he had said.
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